The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, cooperation in fight against terrorism, trade, food and energy security, and global economy will be topping the agenda of the 14th BRICS summit on Thursday. The expansion of BRICS is another issue which will be discussed during the Summit. China is keen to expand the BRICS and Russia supports China’s initiative to include new members in the grouping.

“The situation in Ukraine and COVID-19 global pandemic both have pushed the global economy closer to a crisis. The disruption of the supply chain has put inflationary pressure on the global economy. The supply of two basic commodities— energy and food grains— has come under threat. Many experts predict that the global economy may undergo recession in the coming months. Therefore, the primary focus of the BRICS would be to repair the supply chain and restore trade and commerce as far as possible,” opines Prof Rajan Kumar, School of International Studies, JNU.  

Agenda as announced by Ministry of External Affairs

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), at the invitation of President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the summit on June 23-24 virtually.

This year the BRICS Summit is being hosted by China through a Virtual Format and on June 24 there will be a High Level Dialogue on Global Development with guest countries.

The BRICS member countries will also discuss among other issues like reform of the multilateral system, agriculture, technical, combating COVID-19 pandemic, S&T and innovation, health, traditional medicine, environment, and vocational education & training, and MSMEs.

Prior to the Summit, the Prime Minister participated, by way of a recorded keynote speech, in the Opening Ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday June 22, 2022.

BRICS has emerged as an important forum for India to engage with the non-Western countries. It gives credence to its policy of multi-engagement where it engages with all the powers relevant to its national interests.

Expert View

Why is the 14th BRICS summit important?

Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Prof Rajan says, “The BRICS summit of 2022 will address three primary concerns of global governance: a) the looming global economic crisis, b) pitfalls of the ongoing war in Ukraine, and c) expansion of BRICS.”

Will Ukraine issue impact BRICS?

According to him, “The crisis in Ukraine has created a strange dilemma for the BRICS states. BRICS states have avoided condemning Russia, but they are not pleased with the economic pitfalls of this crisis. Economic crisis  can have a devastating impact on their stability. They want an early resolution of the crisis. They will push for an early and a negotiated settlement. But the role of BRICS is limited because neither Ukraine nor the West has any representation in BRICS.”

 Expansion of BRICS

 “Other members, while not rejecting the idea of expansion in principle, are more cautious and guarded in their approaches. New Delhi is yet to articulate conditions on which it would support the entry of a new member. A consensus on procedure would be required to facilitate the entry of new members. Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico are viewed as potential candidates of BRICS,” he adds.

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